New West baby grows handlebars for Movember

Five month-old Ben Witte flashes his
Five month-old Ben Witte flashes his 'Italian pizza maker' moustache, one of the handlebar styles he's sporting on his favourite soother to help raise money for prostate cancer research.

Mario Bartel

Ben Witte can’t grow a moustache, but he’s not letting that stop him from participating in Movember.

Ben is five months old.

He can barely grow hair on his head.

Movember is a worldwide effort to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues through facial hair. What started out as a bit of a family lark in support of Ben’s uncle James, an annual Movember participant, has turned into a serious campaign that’s already raised more than $200.

Little Ben has a website to take pledges. He also has a selection of moustaches, thanks to the crafty handiwork of his mom, Julia, who cuts a weekly progression of handlebar styles from black felt and attaches them to his favourite soother.

“Who can resist a baby with a moustache?” says the Sapperton resident, admitting she doesn’t much care for the lip adornment. “He’s pretty easygoing about it.”

Movember began in 2003 as a bet between buddies in Australia to see who could grow the best moustache. Friends and family soon joined in and transformed the challenge into a fundraising effort for prostate cancer research.

Last year more than 854,000 participants around the world raised $125.7 million.

And while Ben’s contribution to the cause is in good fun, Julia says she’s all too aware that advances now could benefit her young son when he’s older.

In fact, the motto for Ben’s fundraising campaign is “let’s raise some money for research and treatment now so that maybe when I grow up prostate cancer won’t be so scary!”

And with that, Ben pops out his moustachioed soother and flashes a gummy grin.

• To learn more about Movember, go to To donate to Ben’s effort, input Baby Ben in the search bar.


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